It's do-or-die time for the Cubbies, after dropping Game 3 of this NLCS Tuesday night. Turns out the Cubs World Series hopes may go the way of the hoverboard as no more than a pipe dream.
NLCS Game 4 Odds
As of this writing the best MLB odds on Game 4 we could find on Chicago with Jason Hammel was the -115 offered at Heritage, while New York with lefty rookie Steve Matz could be found getting +111at Pinnacle.
New York took a commanding 3-0 lead in this best-of-seven championship series with a 5-2 victory at Wrigley Tuesday night. The Mets got another home run from Daniel Murphy, his sixth of this postseason, three hits and two RBI from Yoenis Cespedes and another quality outing from Jake deGrom, spoiling the night for the Wrigley Field crowd.
After scoring 20 runs over the last three games of its NLDS victory over St. Louis, Chicago has scored five runs through the first three games of this series.
This handicapper hit with our free MLB picks on the first two games of this series, but missed with the Cubs on Game 3.
Game 4 Pitching Match-Up
Hammel (10-7, 3.74), by our strict standards, went just nine-for-31 on quality starts this season, and finished 0 for his last seven, allowing 20 earned runs over his last 33 2/3 innings. He then started Game 4 of the NLDS against St. Louis, giving up two runs on three hits and three walks through just three innings of work, although Chicago won that game 6-4.
On the season the Cubs are 16-16 in Hammel's starts.
In his only start this season against New York, back in May, Hammel gave up just one run and five hits through eight innings, walking one while striking out six, in a 2-1 Chicago victory.
Matz (4-0, 2.27) went three-for-six on quality starts this season, and after rejoining the Big Club for good six weeks ago allowed seven runs over his last four starts, covering 22 innings. But he missed his last two times through the rotation with a sore back. He then started Game 4 of the NLDS against Los Angeles eight days ago, and gave up three runs on six hits and two walks through five innings of a 3-1 Mets loss.
On the season New York is 5-2 in Matz's starts.
This will be Matz's first-ever start against the Cubbies, which could give him an advantage, at least for the first couple of times through the lineup.
Game 4 Batting Splits
New York ranked 21st this season against right-handed pitching with a .312 team on-base percentage, and 20th with a .397 team slugging percentage.
Chicago, on the other hand, ranked 16th against left-handed pitching with a .319 team OBP and 23rd with a .372 team slugging percentage. The Cubs finished 32 games above .500 on the season, but only went 20-14 against LH starters.
NLCS Game 4 Free Pick
We want more baseball, and would like to see Chicago extend this series. But New York has Big Mo on its side, and Hammel doesn't exactly scare us. So for our free MLB pick on the side on Game 4 we'll go with the Mets.
MLB Pick: New York +111 at Pinnacle